The Harvard Library Owns Books Bound With Human Skin

Thursday, time for my weekly blog post, but I just read this post and it’s too “juicy” not to share, even though it verges on the grotesque, I admit I am fascinated with the way in which dead bodies are disposed and things humans do to others’ dead corpses. This has been a fascinatiin for me since childhood, when I actively worried about what would happen if all the cemeteries were full: what would the grown ups do with all the extra dead bodies?

101 Books

Some creepy stuff’s going on over at the Harvard Library, or at least it was in 2006 when this article was originally written.

According to The Harvard Crimson Magazine, at least three rare, extremely old books were bound by human skin. Yep. Human skin.

The three books—about medieval law, Roman poetry, and French philosophy, respectively—date back to as early as 1605.

Here’s the skinny on the medieval law book:

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One thought on “The Harvard Library Owns Books Bound With Human Skin

  1. This is an interesting way of dealing with the remains of the dead… As a manner of memorial, I quite like it, actually. It reminds me of some memento mori jewelry I have seen, with hair, teeth and sometimes even skin of the deceased in it…
    We are quite used to burying or burning our dead, but alternative ways of dealing with and remembering the dead aren’t necessarily wrong. There are (or at least have been) african tribes who eat their honored dead, people who paint with cremation ashes, and I have even heard that the friends of Tupac smoked up his ashes with weed (!) 😀


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